University 100

  • Word cloud displaying key course topics and campus partners for University 100

About University 100

Course description, assignments, student learning outcomes, and student comments about U100.

Course Description

University 100: The Freshman Seminar (3 units, letter-graded). This course introduces first-time freshmen to the University as an institution, a culture, and an intellectual experience. Academic success is the central goal of the course. Topics include academic skills (writing, reading, note-taking, test-taking and information competence, as well as critical thinking); the value of higher education; the history and culture of CSUN; lifelong learning; the discourse of higher education; ethics and responsibility; diversity in higher education; advisement; health; and self-assessment. The course includes weekly writing assignments, frequent in-class exercises and some on-campus field trips. (Available for General Education, Lifelong Learning.) (IC)

Typical U100 Class Assignments & Activities

  • Canvas Discussion Forums
  • Career Center Orientation
  • Cultural Event Report
  • Essay
  • Ethics Assignment/Activity
  • Freshman Celebration Project
  • Freshman Common Reading Assignment/Activity
  • Getting Involved Report
  • Icebreakers
  • Information Competence Assignment
  • Readings
  • Self-Report Card
  • Time Management Assignment/Activity
  • U100 Library Quiz

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of your U100 class, you will be able to:

  1. Describe CSUN policies and resources central to your success as a student.
  2. Describe some of your strengths as a learner.
  3. Describe ways in which you are an agent in your own academic success.
  4. Find and use appropriate information resources to negotiate complex challenges (for example, ethical dilemmas, academic assignments, and/or issues of personal identity).
  5. Demonstrate your ability to use at least one time management technique.
  6. Name [at least] two people you have met at CSUN whom you can call on for help.

Lifelong Learning: GE Subject Exploration Outcomes Met by University 100

  1. Students will identify and actively engage in behaviors conducive to individual health, well-being, or development, and understand the value of maintaining these behaviors throughout their lifespan.
  2. Identify and apply strategies leading to health, well-being or development for community members of diverse populations.
  3. Students will apply the knowledge and skills of science and technology and evaluate how they impact individuals, the community, and/or society. 

Information Competence 

Information Competence (IC) goal: Students will progressively develop information competence skills throughout their undergraduate career by developing a basic understanding of information retrieval tools and practices as well as improving their ability to evaluate and synthesize information ethically.

Information Competence Student Learning Outcomes Met by University 100

Students will:

  1. Determine the nature and extent of information needed;
  2. Demonstrate effective search strategies for finding information using a variety of sources and methods;
  3. Locate, retrieve, and evaluate a variety of relevant information including print and electronic formats.
  4. Organize and synthesize information in order to communicate effectively;
  5. Explain the legal and ethical dimensions of the use of information.

Assessment

In U100, we assess student learning by tracking student retention (year one to year two), student progress towards degree (graduation), student grades, comments on course evaluations submitted at the end of each term, and--occasionally--by hosting student focus groups (most recently in 2014). 

Formal assessment of the six SLOs for University 100 began in 2011 with SLO 6: "Name [at least] two people you have met at CSUN whom you can call on for help." Each fall, faculty are asked to address student learning with respect to another SLO.  We finished our first pass through the six SLOs in 2016 when we collected data on SLO 1: "Describe CSUN policies and resources central to your success as a student." In AY 2017-2018, assessment will focus on redesigning University 100.

Reports summarizing course-wide results are available on request from the course director:

Here is a sample report provided to U100 faculty in May 2013, summarizing the results of our assessment of SLO 5 (which we addressed in fall 2012):

Time Management: SLO 5 Assessment Report (2013) (.pdf)

As a result of discussion of this report with the faculty, we decided to focus more closely on using the Associated Students Planners as a time management tool in U100.

What Students Say about U100

Looking back on what she learned in U100, Mariana Marquez (Psychology '19) says,"I know how to navigate through school like a pro."

Writing anonymously on end-of-semester course evaluations, CSUN freshmen had these comments about the course and what they learned:

  • I learned that I can graduate and be an open person.
  • Helped me think more about possible majors.
  • I now have a better understanding of what I am good at and what I can do with my major. Overall a great class and a great teacher.
  • Introduced me to new ways of studying.
  • As a student and a person I have learned to use my strengths to pursue success.
  • Helped me manage my time and prioritize.
  • Allowed me to learn about various programs on campus and taught me that there is more to college than just an education.
  • The goal oriented assignments and thoughts about the future really helped.
  • Useful information that applies to school and outside life.
  • Made me comfortable enough to ask questions.
  • I know now that someone at CSUN will always be there to listen when I need help.
  • I learned more about what I will need to do in the future in order to meet my career goals.